The SAR Magazine

Winter 2018

The SAR MAGAZINE is the official quarterly publication of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution published quarterly.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 25 of 47

Connecticut signer of the U.S. Constitution. At Stewart's suggestion, the next grave-marking ceremony was to be a joint ceremony with the State DAR to explain the importance of the cemetery in Stratford. In March, SAR and DAR members walked the cemetery. Much to their surprise, they found the lawn was about 3 feet high and the gravestones were in great need of cleaning, with many headstones broken, leaning badly or laying on the ground. Research began to create a list of people buried in the cemetery, including many Patriots. The church provided an authorization letter approving the cleanup and repair work at the cemetery and the placement of a joint grave marker. The date was tentatively set for Aug. 26, 2017. The Gen. David Humphreys Branch set up a GoFundMe page to help with the cost of materials. A letter was sent to Columbia University requesting a donation, since William Samuel Johnson was the school's first president and a signer of the U.S. Constitution, and Columbia put the stone pillars, iron gate and fencing at the cemetery in 1938. In May, a tree service volunteered to trim the trees in the cemetery, especially the seedling of the Charter Oak Tree that was planted in 1938 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Thirteen people helped with the cleanup, which included raking, weed whacking and just general cleaning after the winter. The town agreed to pick up all the bags and bundles of sticks we raked up. Articles were sent to the local newspapers, and a flyer was also created and distributed. Members of the Societies also put flyers out in the area towns. On May 25, Columbia University made a $10,000 donation to the Gen. David Humphreys Branch for the restoration of the cemetery. For the next two months, compatriots worked as many as six days a week, three to five hours at a time. On Aug. 11, Compatriots Bob Donahue and Bill Robbins were digging and found the grave of the wife of Patriot Henry Beardslee. All of us were ecstatic about the find. Also uncovered while digging were two English half-penny coins, one dated 1738. On Aug. 19, Carl Selvaggi of Carl's Monuments volunteered his time and equipment to raise a fallen obelisk and cemented it back on top of the monument base. Compatriots and others continued to work during the week to finish erecting the repaired headstones. USA flag lapel pins were purchased and attached to a small card that had the American flag on it and a picture of the granite grave marker. We handed these out to thank those who attended the ceremony. The ceremony was held on Saturday, Aug. 26, commencing with the posting of the colors by the Connecticut Line/Living History Unit and the 6th Connecticut Regiment. Following the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance, SAR State President Ethan Stewart and DAR State Regent Alice Ridgway welcomed the crowd of more than 150. Mayor Harkins read proclamations to the SAR and DAR. The reading of the 18 Patriot names was followed by 1st VP Damien Cregeau speaking on the life of William Samuel Johnson. The new granite grave marking stone was then dedicated, followed by a three-volley musket salute. Taps was played by State Troubadour Tom Callinan. Following the ceremony, Rev. Scott Lee of the Christ Episcopal Church invited everyone to a reception that was given by the church. Since then, we have continued to move forward. The General David Humphreys Branch, along with the Freelove Baldwin Stow and Sarah Riggs-Mary Silliman Chapters, have volunteered more than 600 hours of labor since May, with President Stewart and his wife, Barbara, putting in more than 300 hours. PPP The Nathan Hale Award Presentation was held at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. The Connecticut SAR established the Nathan Hale Award in the fall of 2015. It is a cash award given to a cadet who excels in security studies. Providing the award is a way of recognizing the U.S. Coast Guard Academy as the only service academy in Connecticut and expressing thanks for its continuing support of the Connecticut SAR by having cadets participate in our annual fall cleanup at the Nathan Hale School House in East Haddam. Naming the award after Nathan Hale is appropriate since the USCGA is in New London, one of the two locations where he taught. Presenting the award to a cadet who excels in security studies connects to Nathan Hale's role as a spy. The award is presented at the USCGA's Parents' Weekend Fall Awards Ceremony. The recipient for this year was 1st Class Cadet Andrew Brown. The day began with a Corps of Cadets Reception in Hamilton Hall, followed by a Review of the Corps of Cadets and then the Awards Ceremony on the Washington Parade Field. General David Humphreys Branch This year, the Humphreys Branch decided to "branch" out and invite the entire state society as well as the DAR state society to attend its annual Christmas party. More than 60 compatriots and guests attended our Colonial Christmas celebration at the Country House in East Haven, Connecticut. Patricia Campbell and the Reel Thing Band, who were dressed in traditional 18th-century garb, provided 26 SAR MAGAZINE From left, USCGA Superintendent Rear Adm. James Rendon, 1st Class Cadet Andrew Brown and Connecticut SAR Real Property Steward Dave Packard.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SAR Magazine - Winter 2018